Signs of the Times, August 1, 1840


by Josiah Litch


A very general impression prevails at the present time among all classes and in all countries so far as •we have information, that we are 011 the point of some great revolution, both in the political and mor- al world. And it is most strikingly illustrative ot the declaration of the Savior, Luke 21: 25, 26, that there should be “on earth distress of nations with perplexity. And men’s hearts failing them with fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.”

Even the most sceptical, respecting the speedy appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ, are constrained to believe that something is to take place. But what that “something” is to be, can only be known from the Holy Scriptures. What then do they teach us of the events of futurity ? should be the serious inquiry of every sincere inquirer after truth The public mind seems at the present time to be directed especially towards the affairs of the east— Constantinople, and the surrounding nations. This state, of things has probably been brought about in a great measure by Brother Miller’s lectures; and other works on the same subject.

This being the case it is important at the present time, that something definite should be spread before the public in relation to the event we may anticipate. It will not come within the compass of my design to go into a full explanation of the prophecy on which the following calculations are founded; but simply to give a synopsis of the calculations themselves, and some general reasons for them.

The prophecy in question is, 9th chapter of Revelation. That chapter is by general consent applied to the Mahomedan Religion, and the Otto- man government, as arising out of the Mahomedan system.

The sounding of the fifth apocalyptic trumpet Rev. 9, 1, and the accompanying event, is believed to represent the rise of Mahomedanism, and a host of warlike armies, by which that religion was propagated. These armies were for several centuries led on by the chieftains of the several clans into which they were divided: but in the one of the 13th century the different factions of Mahomedans were gathered under one leader or king, and formed one general government which has continued to the present time; I mean the Ottoman or Turkish empire. From the time of this organization under one leader, and he hath a temporal and ecclesiastical ruler, [for he was both king and angel, or minister, of the bottomless pit] they were commissioned to torment men for five prophetic months, or 150 years. They were to be restrained from killing, politically, those who were the subjects of their oppressions; but they had power to torment them five months. The five months were to close up the period of the fifth trumpet. I think it is very generally agreed that the Greek empire was the people whom they were to torment, and ultimately politically to put to death.

When then did the five month of Turkish torment on the Greeks commence? Not until they had a king over them, or were gathered under one government. The Ottoman government was established about A. D. 1298 or 9. And. according to Gibbon, Ottoman first entered the territory of Nicomedia, and commenced his attack on the Greeks on July 27th, 1299. The time, 150 years would bring us to 1449, when the fifth trumpet would end, and the sixth begin to sound.

‘And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns, of the golden alter, which is before God, saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, loose the four angels which are bound in the great River Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day and a month, and a year, to slay the third part of men.” Chap iii. verses 13, 15.

According to the prediction, at the termination of the five months, the first woe or fifth trumpet was past; and when the second woe or sixth angel began, the restraining power by which the nations composing the Ottoman empire ware held in check and only permitted to torment men, was taken off, and power given them to slay, politically, a third part of men or the third part of the old Roman empire; that part included in the Greek empire.

Accordingly, from 1299 to 1449, the Turks were continually tormenting the Greeks by petty incursions and wars, yet without conquering them. But in 1449 a circumstance took place which strikingly fulfilled the prophecy of the sounding of the sixth angel.

The Greek emperor died in that year and left his throne to his brother. But although it was a time of peace in the empire, before that brother dared ascend the throne of Constantinople and reign, he sent his ambassadors to Anereth, the Turkish sultan, and requested and obtained his permission to reign ; and was then proclaimed emperor of Greece. Thus voluntarily did he acknowledge that his independence was done and that the Greek empire only existed by permission of its deadly foe. The Turkish nations were therefore loosed by divine command.

The time during which they were to continue their conquests, was an hour, 15 days, a day, one year, a month, 30 years, and a year, 360 years, the whole amounting to 391 years 15 days.

Allowing the first period 150 years to have been exactly fulfilled before Deacozes ascended the throne by permission of the Turks, and that the 391 years 15 days commenced at the close of the first period, it will end in the 11th of August, 1840, when the Ottoman power in Constantinople may be expected to be broken. And this, I believe, will be found to be the case.

But still there is no positive evidence that the first period was exactly to a day, fulfilled; nor yet that the second period began to a day, where the first closed. If they began and ended so, the above calculation will be correct. If they did not then there will be a variation in the conclusion; but the evidence is clear that there cannot be a years variation from that calculation; we must wait patiently for the issue.

But what, it is asked, will be the effect on your own mind, if it does not come out according to the above calculation? Will not your confidence in your theory be shaken? I reply, not all. The prophecy in hand is an isolated one; and a failure in the calculation does not necessarily affect any other calculation. But yet, whenever it is fulfilled, whether in 1840, or at a future period, it will open the way for the scenes of the last day. Let no man, therefore, triumph, even if there should be an error of a few months in our calculation on this prophesy. L.


Watch the changes. 1840 is not represented here as important to the Fall of the Ottoman Empire.

Changes in the Ottoman Empire

This map can be found at this link.


More Links on the History of the Ottoman Empire:

The Ottoman Empire

Myths (a pdf file)

Ottomon Empire (1301-1922). A BBC Religion and Ethics Report.


  1. August 11, 1840 « Selected Essays by Ellen White Says:

    […] leading ministers preaching the second advent, published an exposition of Revelation 9 (see this link), predicting the fall of the Ottoman Empire. According to his calculations, this power was to be […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: